Leading the ongoing five-match Test series by 2-0 after the first two Tests, the hosts England are eyeing to seal the series by winning the third Test at Trent Bridge (Nottingham), starting from Saturday (August 18). Meanwhile, the visitors India have to win it to remain alive in the hope of series victory, while they can’t afford another defeat in this series.
After a thrilling 31-run victory in the first Test at Edgbaston (Birmingham), England claimed a massive victory by an innings and 159 runs in the second Test of the series at Lord’s (London). The no.1 Test team India is now really under pressure as they have now to save their reputation as well as this Test series.
The batting woes of Indian cricket team have continuously run in the first two Tests of this series. Apart from Virat Kohli, the most runs scorer in the Test series (240 runs in four innings with 60.00 averages), all other Indian batsmen performed below averages in this Test series. Till the second Test of this series, the Indian batsmen produced hopeless performances in front of the English swing bowlers.
The Indian bowlers mostly impressed in this Test series but failed to be effective mostly due to batting disaster.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli has already hinted to make few changes in the playing XI for the third Test as the dependable pacer Jasprit Bumrah seems to return in Trent Bridge Test after getting fit. It can give a huge boost to the Indian cricket team while the English batsmen are actually not in form. Moreover, the 20-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant can make his Test debut by replacing the senior wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik, who failed to impress in the first two Tests.
However, the Indian team management have to take the decision on playing XI in more cautiously as the Lord’s Test combination badly failed.
On the other hand, England is currently in the great position with the 2-0 lead but they can’t sit back at this stage. While the bowlers are performing very well, their batting is not looking good at all. While England have always a long batting-order option, the top-order batsmen have lack of consistency, especially in the recent Test cricket. This improper batting can badly hamper their journey in this Test series if the no.1 Test team back in form.
While the all-rounder Ben Stokes has returned to the squad, the young Sam Curran has been surprisingly dropped from the playing XI and Stokes has been selected in place of him as the only change in the playing XI of the third Test. Sam was the Player of the Match in the Edgbaston Test where Stokes also played a crucial role in the fourth innings for securing England’s victory.
Full Test Squads:
England: Joe Root (c), Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Jamie Porter, Sam Curran, James Anderson, Stuart Broad.
India: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Rishabh Pant, Karun Nair, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.